(MENAFN- AzerNews) By Sara Israfilbayova
The French company Alstom introduced its first passenger locomotive Prima M4 for Azerbaijan Railways CJSC in Belfort, France.
At the plant in Belfort, 10 passenger locomotives Prima M4 (AZ4A) are manufactured in the framework of the contract for delivery of locomotives concluded with Azerbaijan Railways in 2016.
The AZ4A passenger locomotive is based on the Alstom Prima modular platform designed to provide operators with the most suitable solutions for passenger and freight services. It is one of the most versatile, in terms of applications, electric locomotive in the world. Prima AZ4A is able to run at 160km/h in passenger service with longer runs between maintenance and repair, reduced power consumption as well as reduced locomotive maintenance costs and enhanced fleet management efficiency.
"We are very pleased to supply our first multi-functional Prima locomotive to Azerbaijan and to become part of ambitious projects to expand the communication routes between the Black and Caspian Seas and between Russia and Iran,said managing director for the Western and Central Asia cluster in Alstom, Bernard Peille
He went on to say that this technologically tailor-made product is the result of a solid relationship of trust between Alstom's and Azerbaijan Railways' project teams.
The delivery of the locomotive will begin within the next few days. It will be delivered to the Belgian port of Antwerp, from where a cargo vessel across the Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean and Black Seas will be delivered to the Georgian port of Poti, and then by rail in early December will arrive in Baku.
The locomotives will operate under both 25 kV AC, 50 Hz for the East-West corridor and under 3 kV DC for the North-South corridor.
With around 3,000 km of track, the Azerbaijani railway network is an important link between the Black and Caspian Seas and between Russia and Iran.
Today, Azerbaijan participates in such large-scale railway projects as the International North-South Transportation Corridor and Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK).
The transport corridor "North-South" is designed to connect Northern Europe with South-East Asia, including the unification of the railways of Azerbaijan, Iran and Russia. At the first stage, along the corridor, it is planned to transport five million tons of cargo per year, increasing later to more than 10 million tons of cargo.
The BTK railway is constructed on the basis of the Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey intergovernmental agreement. The main purpose of the project is to improve economic relations between the three countries and gainforeign direct investment by connecting Europe and Asia.
The line is intended to transport one million passengers and 6.5 million tons of freight at the first stage. This capacity will then reach 3 million passengers and 17 million tons of cargo.
The first test train on the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) route left Turkey for Georgia on July 2
France and Azerbaijan enjoy excellent bilateral relations and, in addition to political dialogue and economic exchanges, the relationship is highly diverse, notably in the cultural and scientific fields.
While French imports from Azerbaijan consist exclusively of energy products, French exports to Azerbaijan are more diverse with transport equipment posting significant growth.
In terms of investment and big contracts, French firms have a strong position in the oil and oil-related sector, as well as in the banking, telecommunication, transport and tourism sectors.
The trade turnover between the countries amounted to $199.61 million in January-June 2017, according to Azerbaijan's State Customs Committee.
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